Literary Quote of the Month

"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies," said Jojen. "The man who never reads lives only one." - George R.R. Martin, A Dance With Dragons

Saturday, February 20, 2016

The Girl in the Red Coat by Kate Hamer... A Review

The Girl in the Red Coat by Kate Hamer is a really good book. It's not often that I start a review with such a simple observation, but as I tried to wrap my thoughts around the book I just read, that's what stuck in my head. I read it steady from start to finish, but not in a desperate kind of furor. It held my interest, I enjoyed it, it just wasn't an OMG kind of read. And that's okay. Not every book I read has to be the second coming...

The gist of the story... Single mother, Beth, has always worried that she'd lose her daughter. Then one day it happens... When a moment's distraction at a crowded fair separates Beth and Carmel from each other, a man posing as Carmel's estranged Grandfather takes the opportunity to whisk her off with the words, "Carmel, it's your mother. She's had a terrible accident."And so begins the story of Eight-year-old Carmel's abduction, told in the alternating voices of Beth and Carmel, mother and daughter. Beth's story is the struggle to find Carmel and live through the process. Carmel's story is a bit more complicated... how she learns to grasp the lies she is told and keep true to herself. We also come to find out that Carmel's abduction wasn't some random kidnapping, but a more deliberate action because the man posing as Carmel's grandfather believes there is something very special about little Carmel... As life slowly moves forward for Beth and for Carmel, the ending of the book fulfills the need for some kind of closure.

The plot was very well done. This is NOT your typical child kidnapping mystery! I really liked reading the two perspectives of the story, and Carmel in particular was interesting because you generally never get to "hear" what the victim is thinking along the way. But then again, Carmel doesn't quite think she's a victim, at least not because of being taken away by "Grandad".

This is a story of loss, of moving on with your life after a loss and a story of the close ties of a mother and daughter. It's also the story of every parent's nightmare- their child being abducted. It's not a loud story, but one that is quietly powerful. Well developed characters and a good story make this definitely a good read. And as I said, I really liked the alternating voices of Beth and Carmel moving the story along. Would I recommend the book? Yes!

*This book is part of my I Love Libraries 2016 reading challenge! Because I borrowed this book from my local library! 


Laurel-Rain Snow said...

I am eager to read this one! And yes, I have read a LOT of missing children stories lately, but each one pulls me in. Thanks for sharing.

Suzanne Yester said...

You definitely will enjoy this one, Laurel! I really think the way it's written with the alternating voices makes it very interesting too.

Thanks for stopping by!

Elizabeth said...

I keep seeing this book and really like it.

Nice review...thanks.

I hope you like Britt-Marie - it was a cute read.


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